Recreation and Attractions in the Manistique Michigan Area


Manistique, MI is just 88 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge and 45 miles south of Munising on the shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.

Make the picturesque lakefront community of Manistique your home base while you enjoy the many attractions the area has to offer.

Surrounded by state and National forest land, Manistique offers marvelous opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Big Springs, Kitch-iti-kipi, Michigan's largest spring. Named the "Mirror of Heaven" by the early Indians. The Big Spring" is two hundred feet across and forty feet deep. Over 10,000 gallons a minute gush from many fissures in underlying limestone, the flow continuing throughout the year at a constant 45 degree temperature. By means of a self-operated observation raft, visitors are guided to vantage points overlooking fascinating underwater features and fantasies.

Bishop Baraga Mission and Indian Cemetery at Indian Lake. Father Frederick Baraga, the "Snowshoe Priest" built a small log and bark Mission here in 1832. This Mission has been recreated by a group of local historians so you are able to visit a log structure similar to one that was here many years ago. Other bark dwellings have been rebuilt. Open to the public. You may enjoy the grounds, have a picnic, pick berries, or pick the sweetgrass used by the Indians to make baskets. The Chapel is used for special occasions. Located on the east side of Indian Lake, just north of the Indian River.Take M-94 from Manistique. Left on CR-440 to Indian Lake. Go north over the Indian River, and turn left (west) about 100' on Arrowhead Road for about 2 blocks and you will be at the park.

Boardwalk and swimming beaches. The unique Lake Michigan Boardwalk follows the shoreline of Lake Michigan from the Manistique Harbor east for about two miles. Perfect for that early morning or evening stroll along the shore of Lake Michigan. Watch the birds and enjoy the sunrise or sunset as you walk along the waters edge. Park by the Boardwalk or you can walk across the road from many of the motels. The Boardwalk offers benches, interpretive signs, a fishing pier, picnic areas, observation areas and a swimming beach. The Boardwalk is wheelchair accessible. Take a walk up to the breakwater and get a good view of the picturesque red Manistique East Breakwater Light. Parking available at various points along the Boardwalk.

CAMPING: Jack Pine Lodge, Resort, and Campground is located 20 minutes northwest of Manistique in the Hiawatha National Forest. Campground offers 27 sites with electric and water hook-ups , new shower house, and designated horse sites. Six 1-3 bedroom cabins. Wi-Fi. On the ORV and Snowmobile trail. Gas available. Restaurant and Lounge open daily at noon. Jack Pine Lodge, 5350N State HWY M-94?, Manistique, MI 49854. Phone: (906) 573-2414

Fayette Historic Village, Fayette was once one of the Upper Peninsula's most productive iron-smelting operations. After the Civil War, Fayette grew up around two blast furnaces, a large dock and several charcoal kilns. Nearly five hundred residents lived in and near the town that existed to make pig iron. Today, visitors to Fayette State Park see nineteen structures including several public and commercial buildings, residences which housed the people of Fayette, and the stabilized ruins of the furnace complex

GarLyn Zoo Wildlife Park, About 40 minutes east of Manistique on US 2. Visit the Garlyn Zoo and see Live Cougar, Bear, Wolf, River Otter, Camel, Reindeer and more. View the animals up close as they come to the front of their habitats to see you. Purchase grain to feed the camel, goats, llama, deer and even the bear! Natural setting. Gift Shop. Kids love it !!! Fun and Educational !!! P.O.Box 245 Naubinway, MI. 49762. Phone 906-477-1085

The Hiawatha National Forest and Lake Superior State Forest. Take a pleasant drive through the Forests or enjoy some of the many recreational opportunities such as: hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, photography, birding, canoeing, berry picking, mushrooming, viewing wildlife, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing. There are many primitive campgrounds throughout the forests.

Indian Lake, the fourth largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula with an area of 8,400 acres. It is 6 miles long and 3 miles wide. The area around Indian Lake State Park is a playground for the sportsman and outdoor enthusiast. The Hiawatha National Forest and Lake Superior State Forest offer unlimited opportunities for hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and berry picking. Two modern campgrounds offer the camper a wide choice of over 300 campsites.

Lighthouses in the area that are perfect for day trips.  Manistique is the hub for viewing many lighthouses and museums in the Lake Michigan - Lake Superior area.
Au Sable Light House, Au Sable Point Lighthouse is one of the least accessible mainland light stations in the United States. Just as its keepers once did, visitors today must walk to it, but only 1.5 miles. During your walk to the lighthouse, you pass the remains of several shipwrecks. In the summer, a ranger is on duty at the keeper's house to give interpretive tours of the keeper's house and the light tower.

Manistique East Breakwater Light. This picturesque red lighthouse is on the end of the breakwater at the east end of the harbor where the Manistique River flows into Lake Michigan. It can be conveniently viewed from the Boardwalk or the Park near the Harbor and Marina.

Peninsula Point Lighthouse on the Stonington Peninsula, 40 miles west of Manistique, an 1865 lighthouse tower gives you one of the most expansive views around, a 270-degree survey of Lake Michigan and the Wisconsin shoreline. The lighthouse was abandoned in the 1930s, replaced in 1935 by the more effective Minneapolis Shoal Light about 10 miles offshore. The lighthouse burned in 1959, but the tower was saved and is open to the public.
Point Iroquois Lighthouse and Museum. The Point Iroquois Light was first illuminated in 1857 and its Fourth Order Fresnel lens shone over one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world-the entrance to the St. Mary's River and the Soo Locks. On the National Register of Historic Places. The view from the tower is impressive, as you can see almost the entire coastline of Whitefish Bay and miles out into Lake Superior, including any freighter that happens to be passing by. The historical society has renovated the interior of the house, and antiques and memorabilia have been arranged to show what life was like during this lighthouse's heyday.
Sand Point Lighthouse and Museum in Escanaba, This lighthouse on Lake Michigan has been carefully restored by the Delta County Historical Society and is open to the public from June 1-Sept.1 (9-5 EST) to September. Built in 1867, the brick tower was topped by a cast iron lantern room which housed a fourth order Fresnel lens. The light, a fixed red signal, first shown on the night of May 13, 1868. The interior rooms have been restored as authentically as possible with 19th century furnishings so you can get the feeling of life as a Keeper of the Light.
Seul Choix Lighthouse, 672 N. West Gulliver Lake Road, Gulliver, MI 49840. Phone: 906-283-3183, is known locally as the Haunted Lighthouse and is just a few miles east of Manistique. Seul Choix Point marks a tiny harbor located on the north shore of Lake Michigan. This harbor was the last stop for refuge before coming to the Straits of Mackinac, some sixty miles to the west. The Lighthouse, Museum and Gift Shop are open from Memorial Day through mid-October, seven days a week, from 10 am to 6 pm. The Gift Shop offers unique lighthouse inspired gifts, books, and nautical items. Christmas at the Lighthouse Open House, first weekend in December from 10am to 6 pm. Everyone Welcome.

Manistique River: Canoeing, Kayaking, Fishing, & Camping. Canoe the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Information and Manistique River map. The Manistique River is over 60 miles long and runs from Manistique Lake at Curtis to the town of Manistique with rustic campgrounds along the way. A wonderful way to view wildlife and unusual birds and enjoy this wilderness paddle.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, this 40,000 acre park follows the south shore of Lake Superior for 42 miles. The Pictured Rocks have scenic overlooks, beaches and campgrounds, and may be seen by car, boat or plane. These sculptured sandstone cliffs are shaped by wind, ice and pounding waves, colored by the minerals in the water.

Rainey Wildlife Area is a good spot for bird watching. Boardwalks, hiking trails, and an elevated viewing platform provide outstanding views of wildlife in and around Smith Creek, Smiths Slough, and Indian Lake. Songbirds are plentiful along the trails and boardwalks, and the spring and fall warbler migrations are especially good. Be sure to walk slowly and quietly for the best results. You might also see bald eagles and ospreys from the observation platform. The Rainey Wildlife Area is a good spot for enjoying and photographing fall colors or try snowshoeing in the winter. Take M-94 north of Manistique about 5 miles to Dawson Road. Turn left (west) for 1.5 miles to the end of Dawson Road and turn right on Wawawshnosh Drive which will take you to the parking lot.

Schoolcraft County Historical Park, Museum, and 200' tall brick Water Tower was built in 1921-22. Located on M-94 (River Street) at the Siphon Bridge in Manistique. The Water Tower is on the National and State Registrar of Historic Sites. Museum is open during the summer months.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge, view the refuge by car, bike or canoe. 95,455 acres of Marsh, Field and Forest filled with wildlife. Canoe, hike, or mountain bike through the Refuge or take the 7 mile Wildlife Drive.

Siphon Bridge over the Manistique River was built in 1919 to help provide water for the Manistique Pulp and Paper Company. This Historic Bridge was unique because the Manistique River was higher than the roadway and the bridge. At one time, the bridge itself was partially supported by the water that was atmospherically forced under it. Once featured in Ripleys "Believe it or Not."

Thompson State Fish Hatchery, 6 miles west of Manistique, is open weekdays for viewing between 8.00 a.m.-4:30 p.m

The Village Artisans of Garden is a delightful Art Gallery filled with fine arts and crafts created by Upper Peninsula Artists. Enjoy the beautiful paintings, photography, pottery, weaving, jewelry, fabrics, metal creations, wood turning, baskets, glass blowing, stained glass, home made jams, interesting books, plus much more. The Garden Art Gallery is open daily from Mid-May through Mid-October. Located between Escanaba and Manistique, 8 miles south of US-2. Turn south at Garden Corners on Highway M-183 to the town of Garden, Michigan. Phone 906-644-2025

Waterfall Tour. Spend a day visiting some of the many waterfalls about 45 miles north of Manistique near Munising. Some of the waterfalls can be viewed by car, some a short stroll, while others require a little longer walk. Stop for a nice lunch and enjoy a beautiful day.

Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, First lit in 1849, the Whitefish Point Light shares honors with that at Copper Harbor for being the first lights on Lake Superior. It stands guard over the entrance to Whitefish Bay, leading to the Soo Locks, sometimes the only shelter to be found for a ship trying to escape the fury of the lake. Hundreds of vessels, including the famed Edmund Fitzgerald, lie on the bottom of the bay and the approaches. The lighthouse marks the end of an 80 mile stretch of shoreline known as Lake Superior's Shipwreck Coast. At the museum, view dramatic "you-are-there" exhibits, then head for the museum theater which features underwater films of ship wreck discoveries as they lie today beneath Lake Superior's rolling waves. Open May 15-October l5, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (EST) 7 days a week.


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Exploring Manistique, Michigan

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